The International Writers
Directed by Edward Zwick
Screenwriter Charles Leavitt
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio,Djimon Hounsou,Jennifer Connelly,
Kagiso Kuypers, Arnold Vosloo, Michael Sheen
Holly Joy review
are forever! A symbol of love and beauty!To the majority, a diamond
ring or necklace would be an expensive treat symbolising love
and loyalty. Those lucky enough to receive one will wear it with
pride. I am sure that these feelings would change after watching
this film; I know mine did. Witnessing the struggle of finding
the diamonds through slave labour, held at gunpoint, having no
other thought in their minds but am I going to survive the
day? is far from the thoughts of those receiving a sparkling
I would have never
considered going to see a film such as Blood Diamond; the trailer
was full of action packed violence with a gangster like background to
it. However, after hearing that the film was based on true facts and
events it intrigued me and I felt as though I should go and watch it.
The film was nothing like I expected; it was so intense I felt as though
I was involved within the film. Scenes are extremely graphic, yet utterly
realistic, explosive violence and torture are shown, but this is to
emphasise the pain and struggle of everyday life in Sierra Leone, which
others around the world take advantage of.
This film forces fantasy back to reality, conflict diamonds may be beautiful
stones and worth a lot of money but they are also cost a lot in blood
and lives, which many consumers seems oblivious to. The plot outlines
the process of the world diamond trade from when they are found to being
shown on models in major cities across the globe.
There is a strong storyline of African poverty and the struggle to survive.
Through Solomon Vandy played by Djimon Hounsou, we see the daily chore
to feed his family. His village was invaded by the Sierra Leonean Rebels,
and after capture he is forced to work the mines or be killed. Later
he is the key to a deal involving a huge diamond hidden by him in the
Enter Danny Archer played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Danny uses his skills and keeps his link with the South African army
to become part of the smuggling trade of the diamonds in order to make
a lot of money. When he hears of Solomon he arranges for the man to
be freed. He uses Solomon every inch of the way, seemingly uncaring
of the troubles Solomon has experienced.
Meanwhile there is one journalist in town, Maddy Bowen played by Jennifer
Connelly, come to tell the world the exact story behind confict diamonds.
All she needs is help from those who know, people like Danny Archer,
who, of course isn't going to tell.
Personally, I found the film extremely informative. I think that this
story will make other members of the public take a moment to think of
those less fortunate in life. The closest those people will get to a
diamond is digging it out of mines with a shotgun pointing directly
at their head. This film may edge people into wanting to help those
in Africa, and although political problems have been noted within Africa,
it needs something more visual to force people to pay full attention.
This is what Blood Diamond does. Jennifer Connellys
character is therefore reflecting the political thoughts of society.
For example, she mentions that her report could just end up being another
story that people read and discard, what she needs is pictures, facts
and statistics. The only way to get people to understand the real horror
is to show them; shock them, enable the readers to relate to stories
involving African poverty and anarchy.
Leonardo gives a brilliant and credible performance as the anti-hero
from Zimbabwe and you realise that he too has experienced Africa's horrors.
Dijmon Hounsou is brilliant as Solomon and together the two men eat
up the screen.
Although this drama was made as entertainment, I learned something from
it,even through many of the scenes I found myself covering my eyes trying
to block out some of the graphic details of the fighting. However, this
made me realise the problems other countries and continents face everyday.
These people are unfamiliar with the daily luxuries of life like a home
and somewhere safe to sleep, they are constantly fighting for their
lives both day and night. Children are kidnapped from their loving families
and are made to kill innocent people, forced to take drugs and perform
criminal offences, which is out of their power as if they do not they
will be killed instantly. This is not how a child should grow up, but
without help from around the world there is no stopping these horror
I thoroughly enjoyed the themes and storylines of this film as it widened
my knowledge of events happening in the world around me. I dont
think I would ever be able to look at another diamond in the same way.
© Holly Joy
Feb 20th 2007
Holly is about to graduate from the University of Portsmouth Creative
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